Thursday, August 1, 2013

Staying Hot, Little Rainfall

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

The forecast is fairly simple: more of the same.

Many WAFB neighborhoods can expect highs in the mid 90°s over the next few days and afternoon t-showers will be far and few between for Friday, Saturday and even Sunday.  Sunrise temps will be in the mid to upper 70°s for many of us through the weekend with quick warm-ups during the morning hours taking us to near 90° by lunchtime!

Our forecast right into the middle of next week stays on the “drier” side of normal for our area for this time of year.  Normally our metro area “rain chances” average about 30% to 40% in August, but we’re posting rain chances at 20% or less right through next Wednesday.  And as we’ve been mentioning, without those afternoon “scattered” showers that are typical for this area, we’ll see daytime heating take temps into the 90°s for all of next week.

Yet we still have abundant low-level Gulf moisture to keep the “summer sultries” in place with dewpoints expected to remain in the 70°s just about every day through the weekend and into next week.  The heat and humidity will push peak Heat Index readings up into the oppressive triple digits just about every day for most WAFB communities -- take extra care to avoid the heat-related stress!

The heat and “mostly dry” pattern are courtesy of the broad upper-level ridge centered over New Mexico and west Texas that we’ve been displaying in the evening weathercasts for most of the week.  This high-pressure dome produces a sinking effect from the upper levels; that sinking (subsidence) reduces the ability for clouds to build vertically -- a requirement for our traditional summer t-showers.  In fact subsidence produces a double-whammy: the decrease in cloud development means not only means less rain but also allows more sunshine to reach the ground which adds to the daytime heating.

In other weather news, the tropics remain fairly quiet.  We can still pick-out the lingering remnants of defunct Dorian over the Bahamas – and admittedly, the persistence and the lack of significant movement of this tropical wave over the past few days has been rather unusual.  Latest computer projections suggest that it could start moving to the northwest and north in the next couple of days but still offer little chance for this disturbance to become better organized.

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